Things to do in Athens Koukaki District text written in pink over image of Philopappos Hill

Things to do in Athens in the Koukaki District

After you visit the Acropolis Area, I suggest you explore a bit the Koukaki district. It’s really close: take a walk on Dionysiou Areopagitou Street and go west when you exit from the Acropolis of Athens. You will be heading in its direction! There are several things to in the Athens in the Koukaki district, as it is one of the oldest parts of the Greek capital. Read below to discover them.

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Dubai on a Budget text written in pink over an image of Dubai at night

How to Travel In Dubai on a Budget

Dubai is an expensive city and no doubt about it. Whether it’s accommodation, food, alcohol or activity, you’ll end up paying heftily. But that’s beside the point. If you want to travel in Dubai on a budget, you can, just as you can budget-travel in other expensive cities such as London or New York. There’s always a way to find a cheaper alternative to most things, and we’re here to tell you exactly how to travel in Dubai on a budget.

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Things to do in Timișoara in a Weekend - Piata Unirii

Things to do in Timișoara in a Weekend

Before we get to the things to do in Timișoara in a weekend, here’s a bit of a back story. As some of you might know, on 28 November I went for the last time at my office job, in order to get ready for whatever Mathieu’s contract brings our way. (We’ll find out this month, so fingers crossed!)

As the following weekend was a long one for people working in Romania,  he made me choose a place to go on a small holiday, to celebrate my newfound freedom. I looked and looked, and chose Timișoara. But what about Italy? he kept asking. Nope. It’s going to be cold, if we’re going to Italy it should be warm enough to spend a long time outside and not feel sorry for how little we end up visiting in a new place at the end of the weekend.

So we went with Timișoara, to also be in Romania for its centennial anniversary celebrations. And it’s great that we did so, as we ended up with a new favorite destination in Romania! 

Why Timișoara is special to me

Well, maybe I’ll be biased when writing about the things to do in Timișoara in a weekend. This is the town where Mathieu asked me to marry him on the day of our arrival. (Actually, I think in less than half an hour from our arrival in Timișoara!) This is the place where I spent my first days as the future Mrs. Mirela Letailleur. (I love the alliteration!)

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Rome's Piazzas - Roman Holiday Itinerary

Roman Holiday Itinerary, Day 4: Discovering Rome’s Piazzas

Day four of our Roman Holiday was for discovering the Eternal CIty by visiting Rome’s piazzas. Therefore, we started our morning away from the centre of the Italian capital city. We took the subway to Piazza del Popolo, where we  wanted to enjoy our breakfast while admiring the twin basilicas and doing some people watching.

Breakfast in Piazza del Popolo

Having breakfast in Piazza del Popolo was kind of a bad decision. We left the terrace of Canova starving: we waited a long time, yet nobody came to take our order. So we went across the piazza, to Rosati. Here, we managed to eat. But we spent 30 euros on a small breakfast. At the place we went the days before, breakfast went up to around 8 euros, coffees included.

But I guess when you’re going to a terrace in one of Rome’s piazzas, you’re mostly going there for the place. And since the request is high, it also makes sense that the prices are elevated, as well.

Luckily, the beautiful things we got to see in the area quickly made us forget about the less than perfect beginning of the day!

The Basilicas of Piazza del Popolo

As you enter the Piazza by Porta del Popolo, you see a church on your left: Basilica Parrochialle Santa Maria del Popolo. Unfortunately, when we visited Rome, this basilica was under restoration, so we skipped it, missing Caravaggio’s Crucifixion of Saint Peter and the Conversion of Saint Paul.

From the Porta del Popolo, if you look ahead, you can see Rome’s Piazza del Popolo in perfect symmetry:  you have the twin white basilicas in the background, separated by the obelisk in the middle of the circus. Aligned with the obelisk, you can see Fontana del Nettuno on the right, and Fontana della Dea di Roma on the left. The following image depicts part of this beautiful symmetry: Continue reading

Roman Holiday Itinerary, Day 3: Exploring more of Rome’s Historic Centre

Although we started the third day of our Roman holiday early in the morning, it was in no way as intense as our second day. However, it was every bit as wonderful. After all, we were about to explore some more of Rome’s historic centre!

The plan was to start with the Pantheon. But, surprise-surprise, we arrived before it opened. So we had some time to slowly wake up and truly become all bright-eyed and bushy-tailed.

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Vatican City to Trastevere Roman Holiday

Roman Holiday Itinerary, Day 2: Walking from Vatican City to Trastevere

If you thought we covered a lot on the first day, think again! The second day of our Roman Holiday was the probably the toughest, but also the most amazing. We walked from Vatican City to Trastevere, starting early in the morning, and finishing after nightfall. We had plenty of breaks, though, to enjoy the beautiful views over Rome, to grab a bite or to have a drink.

Vatican City (Citta del Vaticano)

We left the place we were staying at early in the morning and bought some tasty pastry products on the way. Then, we got on the subway to Ottaviano, then walked a bit, passing by Piazza del Risorgimento, and ending in Piazza San Pietro.

Vatican City to Trastevere Piazza San Pietro St. Peter's Square in the morning Roman Holiday

Vatican City: St. Peter’s Square early in the morning

Though it was before 8 in the morning, there was already a line to pass the security check for Basilica San Pietro and its Dome. However, it was short and it was in the shadow. While we were waiting for our turn and enjoying our breakfast in line, the queue got larger and larger, all the way to the entrance in the Piazza San Pietro, if you’re coming from Via Della Conciliazione.

All in all, I don’t think we spent more than 20 minutes waiting. Then, we went through the security check and decided to start with St. Peter’s Dome.

So remember kids: the early bird catches the worm! It’s worth making an exception and getting there early, even if you’re not a morning person. 🙂

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